Old English Mastiffs are amongst the best dogs around. They have a good-natured attitude towards anything and make for powerful companions. While these dogs may look intimidating as they often weigh more than 150 lbs, they are among the most gentle dogs, with the right training, of course.
If you're interested in an English mastiff, here's what you need to know before getting one of these lovely dogs.
Old English Mastiff Characteristics
These are giant-breed dogs. Males weigh between 160-230 lbs, and females weigh between 120-170 lbs. They stand 30 inches at the shoulder. Their bulky appearance is menacing at first sight.
However, in this case, appearances are frequently deceiving. In this case, Mastiffs are indeed "gentle giants." They are very loyal, caring dogs that want to please their owners. They're so gentle that raising your voice too much during training may dishearten them. They need calm, steady training and early socialization.
Many people describe a Mastiff's personality and temperament as good-natured, but, due to its size, it was a guard dog throughout history. Therefore, when a stranger approaches your door, the Mastiff may revert to those old guard dog tendencies and try to attack the stranger.
Mastiffs are affectionate dogs that are fantastic with children. However, it would be best if you did not have a Mastiff with a toddler. The dog won't intentionally harm the child, but since a full-grown English Mastiff is often over 150 lbs, it would be easy for this giant dog to unintentionally harm the toddler or baby.
English Mastiff Nutrition
The old English Mastiff dog needs plenty of food in its early years. A Mastiff takes just two years to grow from being a small puppy to having 150 lbs in weight. This breed grows rapidly, and to do that, it needs a tremendous amount of nourishment. Here are the best large breed dog food for your sweet gentle giant.
Most experts recommend feeding puppies an adult dog food with a protein percentage no greater than 26% and a 1.2 calcium to phosphorous ratio. If you're not sure how much to feed your dog, check this guide. That ensures your dog will get the right amount of nutrition and not encounter any skeletal issues that can plague Mastiffs who don't receive the right food initially.
If you have a vet, you may wish to consult with them on your Mastiff's nutritional needs. They can point you to the right food and help you make sure that you're giving your canine friend all the necessary nutrients.
Old English Mastiff Lifespan
As with most giant-breed dogs, the English Mastiff's lifespan is relatively short as smaller dogs tend to live longer than bigger dogs. These dogs typically live somewhere between six and ten years. The oldest Mastiff on record was a female in Australia by the name of Kush. She lived to be 15.
Naturally, providing your dog with the right food and exercise will make it more likely that he or she will live longer.
Caring for an old English Mastiff is not a challenging endeavor. Recall that their original purpose was to be a guard dog for people's homes. Given this, it should come as no surprise that these canine friends are happy sitting in your home. Unlike some other breeds, they don't need to spend hours and hours playing outdoors.
However, that's not to say that they don't benefit from exercise - they do. You should plan for short walks and give them little bursts of activity, rather than a long, extensive run. Most owners find that going a mile or two each day with a Mastiff provides them with all the exercise they need.
In part due to the lack of exercise and partly due to the short fur, grooming a Mastiff is easy. The occasional brush or bath will suit an old English Mastiff just fine. There will be periods of heavy shedding, but caring for a Mastiff's fur is trivial once those blow over.
One final thing that you should know is that these dogs can drool. Most people keep clothes on hand to wipe these dogs' faces off. If you have visitors over, you may find that your dog wants to drool all over them. Keep some napkins handy so that they can clean themselves!.
The Old English Mastiff Is a Wonderful Dog
The old English Mastiff is a near-perfect dog. It's loyal, affectionate, cute, and it doesn't need too much in terms of exercise. It will even get along well with your family, including your older children (but, remember, don't get one of these if you have a toddler). On top of that, they don't even need much in the way of grooming!
Unfortunately, these dogs tend to be in relatively high demand, so there may not be too many up for adoption - especially if you're looking for a purebred one. Check online or with your local shelters to see if they have one available before you contact a breeder. By choosing adoption, you're giving a dog a second chance in life - and there's no better feeling than that!
Getting a Mastiff is a beautiful decision that will provide you with immense joy in your life. You won't regret getting one!